Why Australian Made Clothing Isn’t
Always Ethically Made

Australian made clothing | Australian made

Source: Australian Made

It's a completely valid assumption to think that clothing made in Australia is fairly made - we are a First World country with stringent workplace laws and a variety of government bodies committed to protecting workers' rights.

But that's not always the case.

Sweatshops exist in Australia. Workplace abuse exists in Australia. Wage theft exists in Australia.

Our wonderful nation does a lot of great things, but it isn't perfect. The issues that we tend to put in the basket of Third World countries are still prevalent here. Notably, workers from migrant backgrounds that are particularly vulnerable.

It's humbling to see so many Australians actively supporting Australian made clothing brands, but we can't just default to think that Australian made equals ethically made.

We implore you to still be critical of clothes made in Australia; ask the same questions about their manufacturing, sustainable practices, wage policies, accreditations, etc.

Ignorance can be bliss, but this is definitely not one of those situations!

What We'll Cover

The Worrying Stats

The Antidote - Ethical Clothing Australia

Where To Buy Ethical & Australian Made Clothing

The Worrying Stats

According to the Fair Work Ombudsman, approximately 30,000 Australians are employed by the textile, clothing and footwear industry.

Just like overseas workers, Australians can also be subject to abuse, wage theft and other rights violations.

Some notable statistics include:
• 1/5 businesses fail to pay their workers the correct wage (Fair Work Ombudsman)
• 37% of workers reported being sworn at or yelled in the workplace (Safe Work Australia)
• 66% of Australians have experienced bullying in the workplace (University of South Australia)
• 1/3 of Australians are being underpaid super. Annually, this means that 2.4 million workers collectively have approximately $3.6 billion stolen from them (Industry Super Australia)
• 11% of workers experienced unfair treatment based on their gender (Safe Work Australia)

You may have thought that Australian made clothing brands and manufacturing was immune from this, but the data tells a different story.

Australian made fashion is not a perfect industry - so let's continue to ask questions of Australian made clothing brands and manufacturers!

Australian made clothing brands

Source: ABC

The Antidote - Ethical Clothing Australia

Thankfully, we have organisations like Ethical Clothing Australia to help combat such atrocities.

Ethical Clothing Australia is a not-for-profit accreditation body that works together with textile, clothing and footwear manufacturers throughout Australia to ensure that their local supply chains are fair and ethical.

Via third-party audits, they scrutinise the pattern making, cutting, design, trimming and much more.

This investigative process ensures that all of the workers' rights are protected, as well as verifying that all staff are being compensated fairly by the relevant Award rates and entitlements.

No stone is left unturned in deciphering whether Australian made clothing brands or manufacturers receive the coveted Ethical Clothing Australia accreditation.

Be sure to keep your eye out for brands who are Ethical Clothing Australia certified, or look for their swing tag (pictured below) when you're next shopping.

Ethical Clothing Australia

Source: Ethical Clothing Australia

Where To Buy Ethical & Australian Made Clothing

At Stride, we only stock Australian brands who can verify that their clothing, accessories and footwear is ethically made.

We have a plethora of Australian made clothing brands, such as Tasi Travels, Tricolour Federation, Otto & Spike, Tluxe, and much more.

Some of our brands, such as Farm To Hanger and Luna + Sun, are proudly Ethical Clothing Australia certified.

Whether you're on the look out for Australian made jeans, or dresses made locally, Stride is your go-to destination for affordable ethical clothing in Australia.

Luna + Sun | Ethical Clothing Australia

Click here to shop Australian made clothing now.


As lovers of Australian made fashion, we don't want to sound critical of international manufacturing.

The purpose of this piece was to add food for thought as a lot of people assume that Australian made automatically equals ethically made.

We implore you to still ask your favourite Australian made brands:
• Who made my clothes?
• What's in my clothes?
• Are the factories audited or certified?
• Are the workers paid a living wage?
• And any other questions you'd like answers for

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments!

Do you prefer to support Australian made clothing brands?